South Carolina hosts second annual Million Women Mentors® State Symposium to Encourage Mentoring for Girls and Women in STEM

by STEMconnector

This week, the Million Women Mentors group in South Carolina is proud to announce the second annual statewide MWM-SC STEM Symposium. MWM-SC has pledged 5,000 mentoring relationship commitments to support moving girls or young women in toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The national goal of the movement has garnered over 2.6 million pledges for mentoring girls or women to collectively increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women in STEM. Over 1,000,000 of these pledges have been completed thus far. South Carolina joined the national movement, which includes over 40 states.

MWM-SC will host its second STEM Symposium on Friday, May 11 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at IT-ology in Columbia, SC and will feature WIS news anchor, Judi Gatson as the emcee. Speakers include U.S. House of Representative Sylleste Davis, former Education Program Manager of NASA Dr. Shelley Canright, Vice President of Analytical Services and Product Development at Nephron Pharmaceuticals Ashley Daugherty, Executive Director of the South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics and Science Dr. Thomas Peters, Senior Director at Volvo Lena Vennstrom, IT Service Process Manager at Boeing Lindsay de Jong, and Boeing Women in Leadership South Carolina President Betsy Young. In addition Iriana Molusky, founder of MWM-SC as a high schooler, is returning from college to introduce and announce the 2018-2019 MWM-SC Student Lead.

National companies and organizations like BP, PepsiCo, TATA Consultancy Services, FedEx, Cisco and Boeing, are also committing to mentor girls and women in STEM fields. By taking the pledge at, states, organizations and corporations are committing to mentoring girls and women for a minimum of 20 hours through suggested mentor pathways.

MWM-SC is being led by Chris Brady Wolfe, an energy planning engineer at SCE&G and former LPGA golfer. Chris’s passion for STEM and particularly growing the number of girls and women in the state comes from her personal journey and experiences being a female in STEM. Through her career in Operations, Engineering and Data Analytics, she recognizes the lack of girls and women in STEM programs and professions. Chris commented, “For most of my professional career, I have always been the only female in the room. I feel like I need to help change that and I believe mentoring is the missing piece of the puzzle. MWM-SC will help girls and young women in gaining mentoring relationships to support their interest and careers in STEM.”

South Carolina has recruited high paying STEM-related jobs to the state and has an excellent PK – 16 educational system to support STEM education. By communicating and engaging current employers, civic organizations, and our communities about the available support for women and girls interested in STEM careers and of the need for additional support, it will ensure that South Carolina has a future workforce that will continue to meet the long term needs of its employers and its citizens. “As a technical college administrator, I am excited to see South Carolina continue to support the national Million Women Mentor movement of advancing women and girls interest and confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Careers and education,” remarked Dr. Donna Foster, Piedmont Technical College.   Corporate involvement is also critical in the movement and several companies are engaged including Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Volvo, and Boeing SC. Lindsay de Jong from Boeing, stated “Mentoring is vital. You can have a mentoring relationship with anyone—people who inspire you, your peers, and people you can inspire. Everyone has valuable information to share. While you develop and meet milestones in your career, don’t forget to reach back and pull others up with you and even push them above you. We never reach the top alone.”

“We are excited that MWM has helped to move the national conversation and actions toward intentional efforts to encourage more girls and women in STEM. The state efforts have been a cornerstone of the movement and we appreciate South Carolina’s participation,” said Sheila Boyington, MWM National States Chair and Learning Blade, CEO.

MWM-SC Steering committee is represented by:

  • Hoda Abdalla- MWM-SC Student Lead, Lexington High School
  • Ashley Daugherty, Nephron Pharmaceuticals
  • Lindsay de Jong and Betsy Young, Boeing South Carolina
  • Donna Foster, Piedmont Technical College
  • Latia Gary, LG Solutions, LLC
  • Carmelina Livingston, S2TEM Centers SC
  • Mary Molusky, ACT
  • Bridgette Ravindra – Student Lead, Spring Valley High School
  • Kaye Shaw, SC Department of Commerce
  • Sarah White, Volvo
  • Chris Brady Wolfe, MWM-SC Chair, SCANA
  • Ebony Young, Unique Interventions for Youth

About Million Women Mentors
The Million Women Mentors® (MWM) movement supports the engagement of millions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentoring relationships to increase the interest and confidence of girls and  women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers by 2020. MWM is the movement that aims to change the face of women and girls, their career choices and advancement. Engaged nationally MWM has over 40 states with pledges and steering committees; 60 leading corporations/sponsors and 60 partners/non-profits.  It is about scaling up and ensuring that women and girls are encouraged and supported  to get in and stay in STEM careers.


MWM-SC State Chair:
Chris Brady Wolfe: 919-414-6480,

MWM National Senior Advisor:
Sheila Boyington: 423-309-3667,